VEGAN GAINZ WITH TORRE
What is your age? I am 39 yrs young
What is your contest weight? Off-season weight?
My contest weight has changed since my first show to now approximately 165, 150, 156, 158, 160 lbs. my off-season or not in competition season weight is normally around 175lbs.
Where were you born and where do you reside currently?
I was born in Birmingham, AL and what is interesting is that after all my years of living in different places, I reside very close to Birmingham now in Moody, AL.
What organization(s) do you compete with?
As you can see from my competition history, I like to compete with the best from every organization if they will allow it.
What divisions do you compete in, and what is your status (pro, amateur) within each?
I compete only in the Bodybuilding division and have earned pro status within the SNBF, IFPA, MUSCLEMANIA, and INBF/WNBF organization. Currently still amateur in NPC.
“ I pretty much eat whatever I want and still able to maintain a relatively lean physique.”
What are your primary sources of proteins?
My primary sources of proteins are all plants as plants have protein, beans, nuts, spirulina, kale, spinach, broccoli, and so on.
What are your primary sources of carbs?
My primary sources of carbs are Japanese sweet potatoes (you have not had a potato like this in your life), brown rice, rice, Ezekiel bread, fruit, potatoes, pasta and beans.
What are your primary sources of fats?
My primary sources of fats are almonds, avocado, sweet potato fries, flax seeds, olives and say avocados.
Do you count calories, or track macros?
I never really track anything. I just eat according to how I want my body to look and feel; to the touch literally. I know how my body should feel in relationship to how I want to look on stage.
How high do your off-season calories get?
I pretty much eat whatever I want and still able to maintain a relatively lean physique. So I am not sure how many calories I intake, but if I were to ball park it maybe 3-5 kcal.
How low do your calories get when prepping?
Again when it comes to tracking my calories, it is still very ambiguous but I would say at least 1600-2000 cal.
“I hear people often speak on my arms…”
What are your favorite exercises?
Some of my favorite exercises are front squats, dead lifts, wide grip pull ups, walking lunges, sprints and reverse grip bench press.
What exercises get you the most “pumped”
Dead lifts (all variations) get me the most pumped; I just love the feeling of power to pull all that weight against gravity. Also rear delts, I love how they look after being pummeled.
What do you feel is your most impressive part? And, what is your training like for it?
That is a very hard question to answer as I want to say everything (not in a cocky kind of way), but I hear people often speak on my arms with most attention going into the detail that is present in my triceps. I train arms pretty normal with the exception of high reps and lots of drop sets.
What do you feel is your lease impressive body part? And what are you doing to improve it?
My least impressive body part in my opinion is my back depth and detail. Currently I am increasing the time under tension, heavy dead lifts, close grip pull downs and pull-ups. Also hitting the back from different angles and variations.
CARDIO & BODY FAT
What kind of cardio do you do?
I actually do not do much cardio, but when I do just want to shred up a little more I will do HIIT. Sprinting outside is my favorite. I normally warm up about 5-10 min on a treadmill or stepper to get the body ready for the workout of the day.
Do you measure your body fat? If so, how low does it drop when prepping, and how high does it get during the off-season?
No, I do not measure my body fat at all.
Can you explain exactly what vegan is?
“Explaining vegan is like explaining what a friend is to someone; everyone has their own interpretation.”
Explaining vegan is like explaining what a friend is to someone; everyone has their own interpretation. There are vegans who will say that it means abstaining from the use, intake and or abuse of animals in any product that they eat, wear, and or drive/ride. Some examples are: no milk or whey, no eggs, no butter, no cheese, shampoo, make up, clothing, shoes, and vehicle. Ethical vegans abhor the mistreatment or killing of animals in anyway and they also tend to eat all types of vegan food.
“…being vegan is thinking out-side of the box for the body’s nutritional needs and by doing such we are saving a life and not taking one.”
Then there are vegans who have converted due to health concerns because they saw an improvement in their health after having removed animal proteins from their meals. They also saw the benefit of eating more raw fruits and vegetables. They may indulge in vegan donuts, cake, cookies, vegan cheese snacks and may still wear leather and so on. In my opinion, with relationship to bodybuilding, being vegan is thinking outside of the box for the body’s nutritional needs and by doing such we are saving a life and not taking one. I believe we should all embrace one another with love and compassion and realize that we all are different, also that not all vegans are hippies, skinny and argumentative.
How long have you been vegan and what made you decide to convert?
I have been a vegan since 1998 and the decision to go completely plant based was one of being politically correct within a lifestyle of my choosing at that time, commonly known as Rastafari. Within the circle Rastafarianism, most partake in the Ital lifestyle which is one of eating of the earth down to the type of utensils and plates used. For example, a bowl was considered an empty coconut shell. There were also some who still ate fish due to their lives as fishermen so the trade became a source of nutrition and continues today. I did not want to live in a hypocritical manner so I decided to go all natural and did not know at the time that there was a term for someone who ate plants only i.e. “vegan”. So 16 yrs later here I am “Tha Vegan Dread”.
Being a vegan bodybuilder, do you find it difficult to put on muscle mass?
I was raised by my mother as a vegetarian and with my particular body type being mostly ectomorph, putting on muscle and or weight has always been a slow process for me and then going vegan (plant based) has not decreased it, I actually look the best that I ever have in my life so far and I don’t feel that my going plant based has made it any more difficult to put on muscle mass.
What advice would you give to other vegan bodybuilders (or those considering making the transition) to help them with their Gainz?
Any advice that I can offer other vegan bodybuilder or those considering making the transition would be to not quit, let your body adjust to the transition. The body responds to change sometimes in ways we don’t like but it is a process, so trust the process, train heavy, eat a variety of foods and research about where you can get all of your macro and micro nutrients from so that way it will always be included in your meal prep.
How much fun is it having so much muscle on your body?
I love it and I am so glad to have been in the right place at the right time back in 2008 to see a friend win his first pro card in a natural bodybuilding show and go after it myself. Seeing the body transform is amazing when you understand the mind/muscle connection and of course the attention from onlookers helps.
Anything else you would like to add?
First I am honored and grateful to Natural Gainz Magazine for choosing me for this issue and to all of the people out there that want to go vegan but are afraid of losing muscle, where there is a will there is a way.
2013- NPC NATIONALS-BODYBUILDING-TOP 23 IN THE NATION
2013-NPC-STATE CHAMPIONSHIP-BODYBUILDING WELTERWEIGHT-1ST PLACE
2013-WNBF-NATURALLY FIT SHOW-OPEN BODYBUILDING-1ST PLACE (OVERALL)*
2013-MUSCLEMANIA UNIVERSE-OPEN BODYBUILDING-1ST PLACE*
2013-SNBF-PRO BODYBUILDING-2ND PLACE
2013-IFPA-PRO BODYBUILDING-1ST PLACE
2012-MUSCLEMANIA UNIVERSE-OPEN BOBYBUILDING-2ND PLACE
2012-SNBF-PRO BODYBUILDING-2ND PLACE
2012-IFPA-PRO BODYBUILDING-3RD PLACE
2011-MUSLEMANIA UNIVERSE-OPEN BODYBUILDING-3RD PLACE
2011-IFPA-PRO BODYBUILDING-3RD PLACE
2009-SNBF-PRO BODYBUILDING-5TH PLACE
2009-SNBF-OPEN BODYBUILDING-1ST PLACE (OVERALL)*
2009-SNBF-OPEN BODYBUILDING-3RD PLACE
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